The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...
*May Contain Spoilers*
Wowza! I haven't read a book that has impressed, surprised, and entertained without disappointment in a while, but Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard delivered. With just a friend's recommendation (librarian's always give the best), I picked up Red Queen. And subsequently devoured it. Full of practiced liars, this book is dancing with deceit and laced with betrayal, yet behind it all, hope is hiding in the shadows.
Mare Barrow is the main character in this futuristic, rebellious novel. She's a Red, which means she's a commoner, barely worth the clothes she wears. She has no talent, no job, and is only a year away from being forced into the army. Mare is a pickpocket, stealing from her own people to try to help her family. However, she unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view point) picks the pockets of the wrong man and lands a job at the castle. Which leads to the biggest scandal in Red Blooded history. Mare isn't a normal Red; she's a mutation, an aberration. And the castle must hide this information.
Suddenly, Mare's a Silver Lady, pretending her heritage is one of tragedy and strength. She must lie to save her own life and this brings out her true nature. Mare is a powerful girl who can control electricity. She's brave, incredibly loyal, a little naive, courageous beyond a doubt, and knows what she stands for. Mare dares to believe that one day the world will let go of it's war and greed. Readers will thoroughly enjoy watching Mare as she discovers her abilities, fights for her family and all other commoners, all while trying to learn the intricacies of castle life.
At the beginning of this novel, I felt like I was falling into a retelling of The Heir mixed with magical powers. The story began with Mare and a strong depiction of her normal life labelled as a nothing, a nobody. All of the unfortunate situations in the first hundred pages were thorough examples of a hard life. Then she meets a mysterious man who whisks her away to the castle, giving her a job and a way out of the army. The stranger revealed as the Prince was a bit predictable, and I must say I scoffed at this. Then Mare falls onto an electrical screen and everything, including my view of the book thus far, changed. Suddenly, Mare is the lightning girl and she's joining the rebellion and falling in love and I am completely enchanted. The whole story was incredible after that point and I dare say none of my other predictions came true, which was frustratingly glorious. After all, if I've learned anything from Aveyard, it's that anyone can betray anyone.
Rating: 4.5/5 Cups